Guinea capital paralysed by fuel price strike

The Guinean capital of Conakry was paralysed on Monday as a 25% hike in oil prices fuelled a general strike marked by clashes.

A taxi was set alight by young protesters who threw rocks at police in Kissosso, a southern suburb, AFP correspondents said. Riot police responded with teargas.

Buses and shared taxis in the seaside capital stayed parked as young people blocked some of the main roads.

"Even if public transport was working, no one would dare go out in this half-peace, half-war atmosphere," a senior civil servant told AFP. "The government needs to assume its responsibilities."

Rights groups regularly hit out at the large number of casualties during political and social protests in Guinea.

"Rising global oil prices have led to higher costs for importer countries," Diakaria Koulibaly, the minister of hydrocarbons, told AFP.

Keeping oil prices at $0.88 per litre "has forced the government to provide ever-higher subsidies as it has partly renounced levies and taxes since October 2017 - around $82m," he said.

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